Senin, 20 Februari 2017

FIRMS MUST BE PUSHED TO RESTORE BURNED LANDS

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Feb 20 (Antara) - The Indonesian government has the commitment to restore the country's land areas damaged by the land and forest fires in 2015, which burned over 2 million hectares and inflicted financial losses worth Rp220 trillion.
         In a bid to accelerate the restoration of burned land, notably peatlands, the government has set up the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) to manage efforts for restoring damaged land areas.
         Restoration of damaged land within a concession area must be carried out by companies holding the concession permits. The burned lands become the full responsibility of the concessionaires.
         Hence, corporations which have so far tapped and enjoyed the benefit of the concession forests must carry out restoration of the damaged areas, and the government must take firm actions against those that are negligent.
         "Weak and less serious law enforcement on violations in the environment sector will result in excessive damage," lawmaker and member of Commission VII on environmental affairs of the House of Representatives (DPR), Rofi Munawar, said in a statement in Jakarta on Friday (Feb 17).
         Moreover, the damages caused to land and forest areas due to fires in 2015 are vast. Forest and plantation fires had affected 2.089 million hectares of area and inflicted financial losses worth Rp220 trillion in 2015.

Sabtu, 18 Februari 2017

RIF, "BLEISURE" EXPECTED TO BOOST TOURISM

by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Feb 18 (Antara) - Indonesia needs to formulate an integrated strategy to offer business and leisure (bleisure) services in order to increase investment and boost the development of its tourism sector.
         According to Christina L. Raudatin, a meeting, incentive, conference, and exhibition (MICE) researcher, Indonesia has the potential to develop its tourism using the bleisure concept, as the country has prospective supporting resources.
         Developing tourism by applying this concept can help the country attract investment in the tourism sector. Essentially, investment in the tourism sector is still low, with last year's total recorded value reaching only Rp15 trillion.
         Chief of the Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Thomas Lembong revealed on Friday (Feb 17) that in the last five years, the tourism sector's contribution to the total investment reached solely about 2.2 percent, or Rp51.2 trillion of the total investment in the country.
         Hence, the BKPM will focus on highlighting the country's investment potential through the Regional Investment Forum (RIF). It will promote the country's tourism potential and its supporting infrastructure.
         In a press statement on Friday, the BKPM head announced that his office will hold the RIF in Nusa Dua, Bali, on February 23, 2017, to promote investment in the tourism sector and its supporting infrastructure.

Jumat, 17 Februari 2017

GOVERNMENT TO BOOST MAIZE PRODUCTION, STOP IMPORTS

 by Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, Feb 17 (Antara) - Indonesia is working to boost its maize production and has expanded the area under corn cultivation. As a result, it expects to stop importing the commodity this year.
        With this objective, the government has come up with a number of programs, including a plan to open three million hectares of new maize plantations, raising the total acreage of corn plantations to about 6.2 million hectares this year.
         Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman and the Fodder Companies Association (GPMT) have agreed to stop the import of maize and increase production.
        The minister revealed the plans to stop the import of corn while viewing the grand harvest of maize on a 160-hectare plot of land in the village of Tanjung Agung, South Lampung District, on Thursday (Feb 16). PT Vasham Kosa Sejahtra and PT Japfa Comfed have partnered with the local farmers for cultivating maize at the plantation.
        In order to achieve the goal of stopping corn import, the government has committed to increase the production of maize nationally. The dry corn grain production was 23.2 million tons in 2016.
         "We have included the South Lampung District in the list of regions where we hope to boost maize production. Moreover, South Lampung has become a maize production center for the Lampung Province," Sulaiman added.

Rabu, 15 Februari 2017

CREDITS TO REACH SMALLEST SEGMENT OF BUSINESSPERSONS

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Feb 16 (Antara) - The government is currently giving greater attention to small businesses, notably micro-, small-, and medium-scale businesses (UMKM), by increasing the volume of its subsidized credits through the micro business loan (KUR) scheme.
        Last year, it had set a target to provide KUR worth Rp120 trillion for UMKM. Although only Rp94.4 trillion of the 2016 target was realized, yet it significantly increased from the KUR extension worth Rp22.7 trillion of the targeted Rp30 trillion in 2015.
        This indicates the government's highest commitment to developing small businesses, which play the biggest role in the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
        The Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises, on its official website, revealed that the number of UMKM in Indonesia had reached 58 million in 2014. Other data showed that UMKM had contributed about 53 percent to the nation's GDP in 2011.
        Hence, UMKM are now drawing greater government attention. This year, it is also planning to provide a special credit scheme for the smallest segment of businesspersons. This was disclosed recently by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati who termed the credit scheme as 'super micro' credit.

Jumat, 10 Februari 2017

INDONESIAN TELKOM 3S SATELLITE TO HELP OVERCOME DIGITAL DIVIDE

 By Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, Feb 10 (Antara) - Indonesia expects to overcome the country's digital divide by providing internet access to all its villages, and consequently promoting tourism, through its new generation satellite, Telkom 3S.
        Scheduled to be launched at the Guiana Space Center, Kourou, French Guiana, on February 14 local time or February 15 in Indonesia, the Telkom 3S satellite, when in orbit, will smoothen  telecommunication and facilitate internet connections in villages and remote regions across the country.
        As of now, about 30 percent of the country's 74 thousand villages have no access to internet. By the end of this year, all the villages are expected to have internet service.
        According to M Ridwan Effendi, secretary of the Policy Research and Telecommunications Center of the Bandung-based Institute of Technology (ITB), the Telkom 3S of PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia will help resolve the issue of the digital divide in the country.
        Indonesians have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the Telkom 3S satellite because it can facilitate telecommunication services to even isolated areas of the country.
        Thus, the Telkom 3S satellite will help connect all the regions in the Unitary State of Indonesia (NKRI) that has thousands of islands. 

Kamis, 09 Februari 2017

MOMENTUM TO REBUILD PUBLIC TRUST ON CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Feb 9 (Antara) - The Constitutional Court (MK) is a holder of the country's judicial power along with the Supreme Court, which aims at supervising the law so that it will be enforced based on the Constitution.
        As an institution handling the judicial review of a law which is under a dispute, the MK must be manned with clean, trusted and professional judges. They must not be shaken by any promises that aim to influence the MK verdict.
        Its image was seriously tarnished when one of its chairmen, Akil Mochtar, was arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in 2013 for a bribery case and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014.
         After about two years, the MK has been struggling to improve its image and to regain public trust. While it has been gradually regaining the public trust, another case, involving one of its justices Patrialis Akbar who was once again arrested by the KPK for an alleged bribery case, has tarnished it.
        "I am advised (by President Joko Widodo or (Jokowi) that the MK should be careful, as the public trust on it has been high, but this case has tarnished it all. We have built a good image, but again, there is (another) case," MK Chairman Arief Hidayat said after delivering a recommendation letter to the president for the temporary dismissal of Akbar as a MK justice.

Rabu, 08 Februari 2017

GOVERNMENT CONVINCED INVESTMENT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ECONOMIC GROWTH

by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Feb 8 (Antara) - The government believes that investment will gradually contribute to economic growth in the country in line with its efforts to improve the investment climate.
         According to Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution, it is always difficult to increase investment, but the government has something that it could offer.
         In terms of regulations, Indonesia is now in a better position to open up opportunities for investors to invest in Indonesia.
         The government has issued economic policy packages and optimized its services through the One-Stop Integrated Service.
         "We continue to make improvements, so that our efficiency increases and helps to attract investors. This is a serious struggle (to increase investment), and we are still moving slowly (towards that target). We cannot make a successful jump all of a sudden. You cannot expect that investment would increase by six to seven percent; it is impossible," Nasution stated.
         Earlier, the Central Bureau of Statistics had recorded that household consumption, standing at 5.02 percent in 2016, still constituted the biggest contributor to the economic growth.